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Patent office governance and patent examination quality

  • Picard, Pierre M.
  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent examination process from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination process. A higher effort in the examination process enhances the patent holders' protection in the judicial system and strengthens the screening of innovations with small inventive steps. We compare the quality of the examination process for various objectives of patent offices. Patent examination quality is the highest in an office maximizing incentives to innovate and the lowest in that maximizing the number of granted patents. A rent-seeking patent office can provide good incentives to innovate if it does not set too high markups on fees.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 14-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:14-25
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.009
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  1. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Working Papers ECARES 2008_031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  3. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
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  6. Picard, Pierre M & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2011. "Patent Office Governance and Patent System Quality," CEPR Discussion Papers 8338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/101071, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  13. Ted O'Donoghue, 1997. "A Patentability Requirement For Sequential Innovation," Discussion Papers 1185, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1994. "Expropriation and Inventions: Appropriable Rents in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 190-209, March.
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  18. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
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